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WILLS AND ESTATE PLANNING IN BRISBANE AND QUEENSLAND

Wills

Enduring Power of Attorney

WHAT IS A WILL?

A Will is a legal document that sets out your instructions as to how the assets you own (your estate) are to be distributed and to whom (your beneficiaries) in the event of your death.

Under Queensland law, a Will must be made in writing, and must be signed in the presence of two witnesses over the age of 18 years. The witnesses must be independent – they are not permitted to benefit from the Will.

A Will is an essential part of any estate plan – it is the only means recognised by the law for directing how your estate is to be distributed following your death. Verbal statements about what you would like to happen to your estate have no legal effect.

WHEN SHOULD YOU MAKE YOUR WILL?

If there is one thing that we can recommend from our firm’s 30 years of experience in the field of estate planning, it is that it is never too soon to make your Will.

We recommend that anyone aged 18 years or more should have a valid, up-to-date Will in place.

Unfortunately, making a Will is a task that many people put off. Sadly, in some cases people put off making their Will until it is too late, leading to serious consequences for their loved ones.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DIE WITHOUT A WILL?

You will be deemed to have died intestate. Your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld)

The rules of intestacy give you and your loved ones no say in how your estate is distributed or to whom

Your estate may be distributed to people you would not have wanted to benefit, leaving those who you would have wanted to benefit with nothing.

It can lead to difficulty, delay and conflict, and the cost of administering your estate is likely to be significantly more expensive than if there was a valid Will.

WHAT ISSUES SHOULD YOUR WILL COVER?

Appointment of executors

Appointment of guardians

Funeral Arrangements

Care of your pets

Gifts to charity

Distribution of your estate

Establishment of trusts

An executor is a person (or in some cases an organisation) appointed in a Will to administer your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will after you die.

If you have children under the age of 18 years, you can nominate guardians in your Will to look after your children if you die before they reach adulthood.

You can specify your wishes regarding your funeral arrangements in your Will. However, it is also a good idea to discuss your wishes with your loved ones to make sure they are aware of your wishes, as sometimes the Will is not looked at until after the funeral has taken place.

If you have pets, you can use your Will to set aside funds for their care and nominate who you would like to care for your pets after your death.

You can make gifts to charities that you would like to support in your Will.

Your Will is the mechanism by which you distribute your estate to the people that you want to benefit.

If you wish, you can establish a trust in your Will to provide for the management of the inheritance you want to leave to someone who cannot manage the inheritance themselves e.g. a minor or a person with a disability.

WHEN SHOULD YOU UPDATE YOUR WILL?

COST TO MAKE A WILL

*A basic Will involves a straightforward distribution of the estate without the inclusion of complex or extensive specific gifts, pecuniary legacies or trusts, and no significant foreseeable risk of estate litigation. A common example of a simple Will is a distribution of the whole estate to a surviving spouse or partner, with a substitute distribution to other beneficiaries (e.g. children) if the primary distribution fails.

**A basic Enduring Power of Attorney involves the straightforward appointment of attorneys without the inclusion of complex or extensive terms, directions or expressions of wishes, and no concerns about capacity to understand the nature and effect of the document.

OUR ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES ACROSS QUEENSLAND

OwnIt Conveyancing has provided services across Queensland for over 30 years. While our offices are based in Brisbane, Beenleigh and the Gold Coast, our experienced estate planning lawyers can assist you no matter where you live across Queensland. For more information on how we can assist you in your area, please contact us now.

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It is important to have a legally binding Will in place to ensure that in the event of your death your estate is distributed in the way that represents your wishes. If you die without a Will your estate will be distributed pursuant to the intestacy rules in the Succession Act which may not accurately represent how you would have liked your estate to be distributed had you taken the time to prepare a Will.

We want to assure everyone that here at OwnIt Conveyancing we are ‘business as usual’ and that we will always here to help.

We are here to help. Please contact our office should you require any assistance. See also: OwnIt Conveyancing frequently asked questions.

We believe the success of our business comes from treating you as an important business associate and providing you with as much support as possible in dealing with your clients. This means providing you with the highest level of service, efficient turnaround of contracts, and quick, hassle-free responses to your individual needs.

Visit OwnIt conveyancing Queensland offices near you:

To learn more about Coronavirus – COVID-19, contact OwnIt Conveyancing on 1300 553 750.

Andrew Francey

B.Bus, GCAF, GAICD

Chief Operating Officer

Andrew has over two decades experience in high growth fast moving consumer goods, agribusiness and professional services. Supporting the OWNit team to deliver on client expectations, and implementing processes to scale the organisation, is a key focus for Andrew.

Andrew is a C-Suite leader with Chairman and Board experience.  He has formal qualifications in Business, Applied Finance and AICD Company Directors Course.

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